Face off! Developers cook up custom Apple Watch faces

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watchOS 5 Face
Apple's new watch faces are great, but we want more!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The pressure is building on Apple to finally add third-party watch faces to the Apple Watch after a couple of developers have shown how easily they can be made.

Custom watch faces have been the most-requested feature for the Apple Watch since the original version came out in 2015. Nike and Hermes have been the only sources for third-party watch faces, but iOS developer Steve Steve Troughton-Smith has found a hack around that.

LG’s horrible hybrid watch shows how bad Apple’s competition is

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lg
LG's smartwatches have always been bad, but the W7 is even worse.
Photo: LG

Apple has quickly become the world’s biggest watch company and based on its latest competition from Android smartwatch maker LG, the company’s not in danger of losing its title anytime soon.

LG’s new Watch W7 was unveiled today with a hybrid design that makes it half smartwatch, half mechanical watch. The watch face has mechanical hands so that you can always see what time it is. To keep them from blocking the display, LG put a little feature in it that makes the two hands fold horizontally but the execution of the idea is quite atrocious.

Look at how dumb this thing is:

Everyone can get the latest iOS 12.1, macOS, tvOS betas

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Apple Beta Software Program
Get in on the new betas while they're hot.
Photo: Apple

Apple isn’t wasting time getting out the next versions of all its operating systems. Yesterday, it introduced fresh betas of iOS 12.1, macOS 10.14.1, and tvOS 12.1 just for developers, and today these are all available to the general public.

This is the second round of betas of all this pre-release software. It comes two weeks after the initial round.

Series 4 vs. Series 3: Which Apple Watch is right for you?

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Apple Watch Series 4
Our comparison will help you decide.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch Series 4 is now available to preorder ahead of its official launch on September 21. It’s packed with new features, but considerably more expensive than its predecessors, with prices starting at $399.

Last year’s Apple Watch Series 3 is also still available. It’s not quite as impressive as the latest model, but it’s now more affordable at $279.

Which one should you buy? Find out right here in our 2018 Apple Watch comparison.

How Apple Watch apps’ death spiral nearly killed my iPhone app

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Developing watch apps ain't easy
Developing watch apps ain't easy
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Two years ago, my partner and I launched an Apple Watch app to complement our iPhone fitness app. Little did we know that our embrace of Apple’s smartwatch would threaten the very existence of the gym app we’d been developing since 2012.

Each year since we launched Reps & Sets, we updated it to keep up-to-speed with all the cool new features Apple rolled out at its Worldwide Developers Conference. That all changed last year, though. That’s when we discovered that, by adding support for Apple Watch, we had inadvertently taken a poison pill that could effectively kill our iPhone app.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With a few key changes, Apple could turns things around and reinvigorate the Apple Watch app ecosystem.

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App Store
Apple really wants developers to use subscriptions.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

What to expect from Apple’s ‘Gather Round’ event next week

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What to expect from Apple Sept. 12
You should be very, very excited.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The annual Apple event we’ve all been waiting for is right around the corner.

On September 12, the company will host a special keynote from the Steve Jobs Theater in Apple Park, where it will reveal all the hardware it has planned for this fall.

We’re expecting a slew of big announcements, including updates for the iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch. Here’s our roundup of everything Apple is likely to deliver at its “Gather Round” event.

Microsoft makes account sign-ins easy with Apple Watch

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Save big on the Apple Watch Series 3
It's bad news for the 38mm model.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

You can now sign into your Microsoft account using your Apple Watch.

Microsoft’s free Authenticator app, which brought password-free logins to iOS last year, has made the leap to watchOS. It’s in beta testing for now, but it’s easy to sign up for early access.

Apple drops yet another batch of iOS 12 and macOS Mojave betas

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Photos app
The new and improved Photos app on iOS 12.
Photo: Apple

iOS and macOS developers received a fresh batch of new beta updates from Apple this morning as the company prepares to launch its new software this fall. And the general public got a new iOS beta too.

macOS Mojave beta 9 and iOS 12 beta 11 can be downloaded from the Apple developer center immediately. The updates bringing a host of bug fixes and performance improvements to the iPhone and Mac.

Instapaper kills its Apple Watch app

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Instapaper for Apple Watch
Instapaper on Apple Watch was surprisingly decent.
Photo: Instapaper

Instapaper has become the latest big service to ditch its Apple Watch app.

The most recent Instapaper app update removes the Apple Watch component, and there are apparently no plans to bring it back. One Instapaper developer explains that it didn’t prove popular enough to warrant a required rebuild for watchOS.